One day many years ago Bob Dylan walked on stage and played an electric guitar for the first time ever live to an audience. It made the front page of all of the big papers and it wound up being quite a story. So what was the big deal? Bob Dylan used to play an acoustic guitar and many folk music fans felt that the electric guitar was a tool of loud and obnoxious rock music. But Dylan didn't care and went on to revolutionize the world of music by simply plugging in and playing an electric guitar.
Blues music is a little different. The first blues notes were played on the acoustic blues guitar but even the old blues musicians got hold of the electric guitar. I think it's a sad story because the acoustic blues guitar produced some great blues music. Way back in Chicago in the Thirties there were enthusiasts forming a growing community. People were enthusiastic when blues musicians from the Mississippi delta area brought their music to the streets and cafes from Chicago. Muddy Waters and Son House were huge stars in Chicago and they would play that acoustic blues guitar until people were just going wild.
The acoustic blues guitar became unpopular when people like Howling Wolf came along and replaced their acoustic guitar by an electric guitar. Wolf and others still played the original blues hits but instead used electric guitars and that was the music people heard. Soon Son House and the others were relics and Robert Johnson and that famous picture of him and his acoustic blues guitar became treasured pieces of the past. Jimi Brought It Back For A Little While For many years the electric guitar ruled the blues world and then Jimi Hendrix decided to record a short movie of himself playing an acoustic blues guitar and for just a little while we got to hear as close to the modern equivalent of those old classics that we will hear. As Jimi fired through Here My Train A Comin' it was just like being on the delta near the turn of the century when Robert Johnson would travel from small bar to small bar just to make a living playing his guitar. Those days are gone forever.
Many years ago the acoustic guitar ruled blues records but nowadays only once in a while it is the main instrument. The sound produced by the acoustic blues guitar is unique and came right from the heart. Unfortunately these days will never return.
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